Newscasts

PNS Daily Newscast - May 23, 2018 


The Mueller probe lands another cooperating witness. Also on the rundown: The GAO gives a green light for CHIP cuts; and hurricane experts say – don’t let down guard down.

Daily Newscasts

Monarch Highway Aims to Bring Monarchs Back from Brink

Iowa is one of six states that have made a commitment to provide habitats for monarch butterflies and other pollinators along Interstate 35. (StarbuckATC/Pixabay)
Iowa is one of six states that have made a commitment to provide habitats for monarch butterflies and other pollinators along Interstate 35. (StarbuckATC/Pixabay)
October 26, 2017

DES MOINES, Iowa – If you've ever watched the process of a caterpillar becoming a vividly colorful monarch butterfly, you probably have an appreciation for a challenge being issued by the National Pollinator Garden Network.

The Million Pollinator Garden Challenge calls on everyone, including horticulture professionals, schoolchildren and highway officials, to help create and register 1 million pollinator gardens by the end of this year.

Six states, including Iowa, are using the Interstate 35 roadsides to plant pollinator gardens, dubbing the roadway Monarch Highway.

Mary Phillips, senior director of the National Wildlife Federation's Garden for Wildlife program, says monarch populations have plummeted 90 percent in the last 20 years.

"Monarchs are something people identify,” she states. “It's an iconic butterfly that many of us have experienced in our childhood.

“So that's been an amazing motivator to get people to focus and engage around the pollinator issue."

Pollinator declines in general have been extreme in recent decades. Habitat loss, parasites and pesticides are among the causes of pollinator declines.

Phillips notes that a Cornell University study found one-third of all the food we eat is the direct result of pollinators.

I-35 from Texas to Minnesota falls within the central flyway of the monarch butterfly migration.

Phillips says the Garden for Wildlife program helps not only wildlife, but also gives people a daily connection to the natural world, whether people create a garden in the city or the country.

"It's very small to very big,” she says. “Some of these are creating tremendous acres of habitat and others are kind of connecting corridors across urban settings. So, both of those approaches are equally valuable."

Million Pollinator Garden Challenge participants can learn more and register their pollinator gardens online, plus they can take a look at the Challenge Map.

Kevin Patrick Allen, Public News Service - IA